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Gary Morgenthaler, Senior Advisor

Gary has a national reputation as a successful executive in the software industry and currently serves as a Senior Advisor at Canvas Ventures.

He began his venture capital career in 1989 when he joined Morgenthaler Ventures. Gary continues to serve on the boards of that firm’s portfolio companies, including Big Switch Networks, Nominum, and NuoDB. He was a past Director of Siri, Inc., which was acquired by Apple in 2010, and BlueArc Corporation which was acquired by Hitachi Data Systems in 2011.

Gary co-founded two leading database companies of their time: He was co-founder and past CEO of Illustra Information Technologies, Inc., where he served as a Chairman of Illustra’s Board until its acquisition by Informix in 1996. Gary also co-founded and served as CEO and Chairman of Ingres Corporation, a leading relational database software company.

He also led investments in Catena Networks (acquired by Ciena), Nuance Communications, Premisys Communications, Force10 Networks and QuickLogic.

Gary also worked at McKinsey & Co. as a management consultant, with Tymshare in software development and management, and with Stanford University in software research and development.

He received a BA from Harvard in 1970.

In the News

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In the News

How Apple’s Siri Lost Its Edge

Nimble competitors developed new voice-powered products for the home while Apple remained focused on its phone.
Published in The Wall Street Journal/by admin

Siri’s importance to Apple grows as it develops an Amazon Echo ‘killer’

Gary Morgenthaler, partner at Morgenthaler Ventures and former director of Siri Inc, joins BNN for a look at the personal assistant's growing presence in Apple's product line seven years after the company scooped up Siri.
Published in BNN/by admin

Canvas Named #1 "VC Firm to Watch" Midas List

Canvas arrived in 2013 as a spin-out of Morgenthaler Ventures, starting with a $175 million fund focused on early-stage investing in the financial technology (fintech), online marketplace, new enterprise, and digital health sectors. Canvas is managed by three Morgenthaler VCs, Rebecca Lynn (#23), Gary Little, and Gary Morgenthaler, and fourth partner Paul Hsiao (previously with New Enterprise Associates). Following her nomination in 2013 to the Midas Brink List, Lynn came in strong for her first Midas appearance with investments in Lending Club (IPO 2014) along with the still-private Evernote (valued over $1.0 billion) and digital health services provider Practice Fusion. Canvas Venture Fund is a new VC firm – started by a tight-knit team of VC veterans – and given Lynn’s notable showing on the Midas List, is clearly off to an impressive start.

Published in Forbes/by Ching Wu

Meet Fortune’s 2014 Big Data All-Stars

Big data is about more than big numbers. Meet Fortune’s first class of Big Data All-Stars: 20 extraordinary people who we think are the best at connecting the dots, digging deep, and discovering the information that will transform the way businesses operate.
Published in Forbes/by Ching Wu

Can A 50-Person Startup Threaten Oracle, IBM, And Microsoft?

Companies spend $35 billion on so-called SQL databases to store and retrieve their data. Goliaths Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft all sell such databases. But a 50-employee, Cambridge, Mass.-based startup claims to be winning business from their enterprise customers. Should investors in those Goliaths be worried?

The startup in question is NuoDB and it sells a distributed database management system (DBMS) to companies that use SQL databases, operate their data centers in the cloud and want guarantees of great service.
Published in Forbes/by Ching Wu

Why SIRI Is Apple’s Most Important Footnote

Siri was once the belle of the ball. Sure, she didn't always respond when you summoned her. She decided to call you by the name ambulance instead of 'calling you an ambulance,' and she refused to complete basic tasks like adding contacts. But she sure was charming.
Published in Fast Company/by Ching Wu

Big Data Broadens Its Range

Customers walking into an AutoZone store in Waco, Texas, will find a deal on Gabriel shocks which they won't find at
most other AutoZone stores. In Minneapolis, they can find a discount on Reese towing equipment. And in Mulberry, Fla.,
there's a special on a bug deflector.
The targeted deals are part of AutoZone Inc.'s strategy to customize its global supply chain at the store level, reducing the
chances that customers will leave without making a purchase.
To do this, the auto parts retailer is using new software that helps it adjust inventory at some of its 5,000 stores based on
information gleaned from a variety of databases, such as the types of cars driven by people living around those retail
outlets. The new software, from startup NuoDB Inc., is one of a number of new database options that are giving
companies a faster and more efficient approach to data.
Published in Wall Street Journal/by admin

NuoDB, Morgenthaler Ventures Talk Disruption in Databases

The database startup that is closest to my office, if not my heart, has a compelling story. Roughly speaking, it’s one of these “if it really works, it is a game changer” types of companies. Which is fairly common in the tech world—but not as common as, say, “even if it works, who cares?”
Published in Xconomy/by admin

Gary Morgenthaler Named to AlwaysOn 2012 VC Top 100 List

Every December, during the last six years, AlwaysOn has honored the investment talent in digital entertainment, on-demand computing, cloud and infrastructure, and digital media that is the foundation of the Global Silicon Valley. This year marks the announcement of AO’s seventh annual Venture Capital 100, and comes at a time when the worldwide venture-backed technology industry is expanding exponentially, creating new jobs, wealth, and, of course, invaluable products and services for a sophisticated and hungry audience.
Published in AlwaysOn/by admin

New-look Database Startup NuoDB gets $10M to Scale Up and Out

NuoDB has $10 million in Series B funding led by Morgenthaler Ventures and adds database pioneer Gary Morgenthaler to its board. The The database category hasn’t been all that exciting over the past 20 years, with market leaders Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Sybase (now SAP trading off incremental updates every year or so. But that period of stasis ended with the advent of cloud computing, open source software and big data — a perfect storm that reinvigorated the will use the funding to widen the beta of its webscale database and get it out broadly this fall.
Published in GigaOm/by admin

Gary Morgenthaler Explains Exactly How Siri Will Eat Google’s Lunch

The iPhone 4S is on the streets, and accompanying it is a helpful young virtual assistant named Siri. You’ve probably heard something about Siri by this point, as tech blogs and the media writ large, have been yammering about Siri’s technology at full blast. Since the beginning, and even more so since Siri was acquired by Apple in 2010, there’s been a lot of excitement about voice recognition technology.
Published in TechCrunch/by admin

Siri Investor Morgenthaler On The Next Generation Of Voice Investments

A partner at the eponymous firm Morgenthaler Ventures, he
was an early investor in voice-recognition companies
Nuance Communications and Siri, whose technology Apple
acquired last year and incorporated into the new iPhone 4S.
He has watched the role of voice technologies evolve from
answering simple and rigidly structured questions at call
centers to helping iPhone 4S users do, well…pretty much
Published in Wall Street Journal/by admin
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Big Data and Enterprise Software


Harvard University (BA in International Studies)

Active Investments

  • Big Switch Networks
  • Nominum
  • NuoDB

Past Investments

  • BlueArc
  • Catena Networks
  • Crossbow Technology
  • Force10 Networks, Inc.
  • Illustra
  • Nuance Communications
  • Overture Networks
  • Siri